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Thread: Smaller calibres

  1. #1

    Smaller calibres

    It's got to be wrong to start allowing smaller deer to be taken with .22 centrefire. Just because it's legal in Scotland doesn't mean it's a good idea.

    With less 'margin for error' there will inevitably be more wounded animals and more suffering.

    And how many more deer are going to be culled because of the proposed change? Not many i bet.

  2. #2


    Changing legislation on calibres won't make the slightest difference to deer numbers. The only thing that should change is stalkers' attitudes. People are too busy trying to protect their own stalking areas.

    Invite other stalkers to help. Be less concerned about excluding every other bugger from your patch. Knock over more deer and the landowner will love you forever!

    It works for me...

  3. #3


    I've got to agree with Butch.

    My husband has stalked for years and it always amused me that other stalkers were so protective about the land they stalked over.

    It seems to me that so many stalkers won't actually tell you where they stalk, for fear of you trying to muscle in. I've always found that if you're doing a good job, taking out the right number of deer and doing it responsibly, then the landowner has no reason to look elsewhere.

  4. #4
    The one thing that can be said about this is that you can't over Kill an animal but you can under kill something. The last thing we need at the moment is bad press and drawing attention to our sport. If the legislation is changed and .22 centrefire becomes a deer legal caliber for smaller deer then the chances of wounding will increase.

    All it will take will be a few wounded animal to be seen running around a field or somebodies garden for the various organisation to start putting pressure on our sport.

  5. #5

    Calibre debate

    I agree with everything that Jason has said.

    And just where are these centrefire owners going to shoot and doesn't everyone who wants to stalk buy a stalking rifle - usually a .243 or above? I don't know of anyone with a smaller calibre who wants to stalk, but I might have missed something and there are hoardes of wouldbe stalkers just waiting in the wings for the new legislation to go through.

    Wake up DEFRA and other 'organisations' - the change to calibre legislation can only be bad for animal welfare, and what's bad for animal welfare is bad for us.

  6. #6
    If the law is changed, will all the people who have smaller calibre rifles apply to have there FAC changed as on mine the wording clearly says "The Lawful Shooting of Deer"
    If so will the Police insist on the holder compleating a Deer Stalking Certificate as seems the case for a lot of people applying for deer calibres at present.


  7. #7
    The DSC Certification seams to be one which vary between Police Forces as to wether they want you to have done at least DSC level 1 or not.

  8. #8

    Small Calibres

    I'm sorry but I don't agree with most of the contributers who suggest that a .223 would result in an increase in injured animals.

    Most of my stalking has been in Scotland for roe deer where I have used and successfully despatched a fair number of roe without incident. The rifle is lighter and has less recoil than a 0.243< which I suggest should lead to more accurate shot placement. From experience down the target range many people (even experienced shots) flinch when they fire heavy calibre rifles.

    Smaller calibers have worked in Scotland for a long time, why not in England?

    Since moving to England I have sold my 0.223 and 0.65x55 and replaced them with a 0.243. I can't honestly say I notice any difference.


  9. #9
    I think its best to select the right tool for the job. A 223 would be fine for Munties and Roe with little meat damage and capable of delivering a clean kill.
    For bigger deer, bigger calibres are needed but there isn't a one size that fits all and delivers a useable carcase IMO

  10. #10
    A change in the law to allow .22 centrefires to be used will not lead to more wounded animals or a drastic increase in the number of stalkers. You have still got to have deer in your area to shoot them, that will rule out half the number of .22 centrefire shooters who ae more interested in shooting fox anyway. As for animal wellfare allowing these calibres to be used for roe and muntjac is merely bringing us into line with the rest of Europe. If anything small calibres will lead to better and cleaner kills of these smaller types of deer. A large high velocity bullet does not expand as well in a smaller target as a smaller round fired at the same target. This is down to energy down range. While smaller bullets are faster flying and have a flatter trajectory in general they carry less energy into the target therefore slow down quicker and will expand better in a smaller target. Larger calibre bullets such as .270, .308 have a greater down range energy and require a large target to expand to best effect. A happy medium is .243 however in the case of these species of deer smaller calibres will probably do as gooder job if not a better one. One of the great hunter W.D.M Bell used to .220 swift on large Red Deer stags with great effect. For him it had an almost uncanny ability to kill big red deer stags as if they had been electrocuted. P.O. Ackley preffered .220 swift to 30.06 for shooting deer he felt that the smaller round did a much better job of knocking them down. If you wish to read the article I will post the thread to it. Jason it is possible to over kill something, this would lead to bad press more so than the use of a smaller calibre wounding a deer. A 200 grain bullet from a 30.06 would make a very large exit wound in a deer or for that matter .300 wsm this would frankly be over kill. Their would be a very large amount of meat damage. Meat damage or damage to the carcass is how you determine whether a calibre is over kill on a particular species of deer. Aside from all this the average male human being weighs around 85 kilos a little more than the average muntjac or roe deer, yet all the modern armies have gone to 5.56mm which is the military version of .223 for knocking us off and their not allowed to use expanding ammunition, there must be something to it.

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